Two Weeks of Gratefulness [A Series]

“We will feast in the house of Zion

we will sing with our hearts restored

‘He has done great things’ we will say together

we will feast, and weep no more.”

Sandra McCracken, “We Will Feast in the House of Zion”

I’m wrapping up the second week of writing down all the things to be grateful for, and writing a novel.

I have to say: this entire journey has been much more difficult than I anticipated. I, nearly daily, have to grab myself by the scruff of the neck and say, “Alright, I’m going to sit down. I’m going to write another paragraph. I’m going to pause long enough to consider what all I have to be grateful for.”

And honestly, some days I have not shown up to write the manuscript or in my little gratefulness notebook.

Isn’t being a human crazy? That I have to pick myself up to do the things I most want to do? That it’s a practice to follow a dream? And to even pause? The things that bring us the most joy can often require the most convincing, and that’s really frustrating to me.

But this week, this truth was spoken over me: I don’t have to wait until I’m in the mood to live with purpose. Actually, I can live by a firm commitment to go after it now, regardless of what I’m feeling.

Friend, we are not victims. If we’ve made the decision to live for Christ, then we are empowered and cherished by a God who has crafted stories we’ve yet to unfold. Let’s not be enslaved to what we do or don’t feel like doing. Instead, let’s press into the desires and dreams he’s placed in our hearts. And let’s go after them. We get to live by a commitment to the purposes set before us. We get to say, “Hey, I’m not going to be tossed about today. I know my purpose. And I’m going to keep stepping into it.”

Don’t give up. Keep pressing on. This is worth it. You might be tempted to think it’s not worth it; don’t believe it. You are sustained by the Sustainer himself. He’s got you. Even in the waves and tosses of the day, he’s got you.

And with that, here are only a few things I penned in the gratefulness notebook over the last several days.

  • singing with the church
  • the last few autumn trees that are still full and vibrant
  • snowfall and 2 hour delays
  • the satisfaction of meeting – and far passing – a goal
  • fleece blankets under the sheets
  • the warmth of the sun on a cold day
  • hearing a child say they want it to be Christmas every day so they can celebrate God every day, and getting to say, “But you can!”
  • going back to the place we got married just to reflect and say thanks

By the way, here’s a link to the song we sang in church on Sunday. It always breaks my heart. I mean this in the kindest way possible: I hope it breaks yours too.:

One Week of Gratefulness [A Series]

As I shared in last week’s story, I am participating in NaNoWriMo. I also shared that I am keeping track of little moments I’m grateful for in a small composition book I’m carrying with me this month. Both have been surprisingly challenging. More on that to come.

Before I get back to writing the manuscript this morning, I wanted to share a few things I wrote in the gratefulness notebook over the last few days. They’re small, but seeing them as precious gifts this week was good for my soul. I hope you feel them too.

  • fuzzy socks
  • the comfort of curling up in a warm blankets on a cold night
  • winning an Instagram book giveaway
  • winning anything, really
  • Travis driving my broken car all week, even though he hates it, so that I can drive our reliable vehicle
  • solving problems
  • the fuzzy, velvety feel of a horse’s snout
  • the kid who came to me just to say, “Ms.Brianna! Friend!”
  • a friend empathizing with your crappy week and then asking what they can do to help
  • pricey dresses that fit like a glove
  • cheap electric bills
  • when the cat walks on my back
  • Travis talking to me early in the morning, because I know he’d rather be sleeping
  • Paul’s longing to go to Rome

One Final (Random?) Thought

I spent last night and this morning just looking at Romans 1:1-15. It is literally just the introduction to Paul’s letter to the Roman church, but it’s plenty full of love and encouragement.

The Apostle’s love for Rome, for people, and ultimately, for the message of Christ, encouraged me. I pored over it for a couple hours, just sitting in Paul’s gratefulness for this church, his gratefulness to God for alotting a time for him to visit, and his gratefulness to God himself for the story he’s worked and invited us into.

We are tremendously loved and cared for, friends. It’s only because of Christ that I can show any thanks whatsoever. And being able to express my gratitude has filled a void I didn’t know I needed before I met him.

My prayer today is that I would show my thanks to him by showing thanks for the people, things, and moments he’s given me.

“As it is through Christ that God’s grace is conveyed to men, so it is through Christ that men’s gratitude is conveyed to God.”

F.F. Bruce, “The Epistle of paul to the romans: an introduction and commentary,” page 76